If you landed on Mercury, the first thing you’d notice would be how close it is to the Sun. It’s actually the closest planet to the big ball of fire and the smallest. But it’s not the hottest planet. Venus takes credit for that. It takes Earth 365 days to orbit the Sun, and it takes Mercury more than 3 months. Well, 88 days, to be exact.
The days are boiling hot, with the temperature reaching above 800 °F (425 °C). But on the other side of the planet that the Sun doesn’t reach, the temperatures drop to −300 °F (-180 °C). Mercury’s atmosphere can’t hold any heat when it’s nighttime, just like a desert. Deserts have no atmosphere, which is why they have no moisture, and no clouds or rain.
If you manage to get from one end of the planet to the other and always stay in between the scorching heat and freezing cold, then you can survive. But oxygen isn’t a friend to Mercury’s atmosphere. So you’d just live for as long as you can hold your breath. Plus, there’s a magnetic field that has solar winds from the Sun that create plasma tornadoes.
Venus can heat up to almost 1,000 degrees. But gravity is really similar to that of Earth. You can go for walks by the mountains and even go jogging, but the temperature will instantly melt you. So maybe forget about those jogging sessions. The extreme pressure would also crush you like a can. It’s like being half a mile underwater on Earth. So, you’d only last a few seconds on Venus.
The Red Planet is home to the highest mountain in the Solar System, around 3 times taller than Mount Everest. And it’s also a volcano. Despite being called the Red Planet, Mars is actually really cold. It needs a little less than 2 years to rotate around the Sun or 687 days, to be precise. And almost like Earth, it has 25 hours in a day.
The atmosphere over there is very thin but unbreathable. The planet has loads of dust storms that cover the entire planet and polar caps that are covered with carbon dioxide. You won’t freeze in your spot, but you’d need some thick clothing to keep warm. It’s possible to last as long as you can hold your breath. On the bright side, though, you’d get to see some incredible views.
The Solar System’s biggest planet is the mighty Jupiter. If Jupiter was the size of a basketball, then Earth would just be the size of a single grape compared to it.
It only needs 10 hours to rotate around its axis, which is a lot shorter than Earth’s. One of the best tourist attractions is the Great Red Spot, an area with a hurricane-like storm that lasted more than 300 years. Oh, and the area is twice the size of Earth. The largest planet in our Solar System needs around 12 Earth years or 4,307 days to make a complete circle around the Sun. But Jupiter’s gravity is a lot stronger than Earth’s. Besides the lack of oxygen and winds that can keep you suspended in the air forever, the immense pressure would crush you. Visiting here won’t last longer than a few seconds.
Pluto is a former planet furthest from the Sun in our Solar System and is now considered to be a dwarf planet. And because it’s that far, it’s one of the coldest places ever, with temperatures reaching negative 400° F (200 ° C). Definitely bring a jacket. Or two. Methane ice covers the mountains that soar at over 10,000 feet. Pluto needs 248 years to orbit the Sun. It’s technically still in rotation, waiting to celebrate New Year’s. But it just needs 6 Earth days to complete a rotation around itself.
And surprise-surprise, the air is also unbreathable. Besides the methane floating around, nitrogen is also pretty common. The gravity is weak, so you’d have to hold your breath while floating in the air before freezing like an ice cube. Again, you’d only last a couple of seconds. The windiest planet in our Solar System is Neptune. The core is similar to that of Earth. It has 14 moons surrounding it. A day is kinda short compared to Earth. You’d have only 17 hours in a single day. And similar to Pluto, it needs more than 150 years to spin around the Sun. Neptune is also known as the Blue Planet because of the absorption of red light by methane in the hydrogen-helium atmosphere.
So besides not breathing, the pressure can also crush you, just like on Jupiter. No one can last more than a few seconds there. The 2nd biggest planet is none other than Saturn, with rings surrounding it. From far away, its rings look like one big chunk of rock spinning around, but in fact, it’s made up of many layers of ice particles and rocks ranging in all sizes, from tiny pebbles to bus-sized objects. The rings are shaped in such a way because of the gravity around Saturn. A day on Saturn lasts only 11 hours. It’s very windy in the upper atmosphere. Saturn also has plenty of moons like Jupiter.
And just like on Jupiter, you’d be crushed by extreme pressure deep in the planet before you can open your eyes. You wouldn’t last longer than a few seconds here, either. Titan is Saturn’s largest moon and second-largest moon in the Solar System. It has the closest Earth-like conditions compared to any existing planet or moon, so living here should be a walk in the park. But the cold weather will freeze you. This moon is actually the only place in the whole Solar System that has liquid rivers, oceans, and lakes. They’re all covered with methane and ethane, and the atmosphere is very similar to that of Earth. It even rains here at certain times.
Our Moon isn’t so friendly either. Because of the lack of oxygen, you can just last as long as you can hold your breath. The cosmic rays from the Sun will also affect you, but skipping along the Moon craters is actually quite fun. If you tried going to the Sun, you’d vaporize in the blink of an eye. The temperatures can reach around 27 million° F (15 million °C), and that’s just an estimated measurement near the core. There’re still the outer layers you need to worry about that’ll also leave you in atoms. Your best bet is to hit the brakes and take the nearest exit. Estimated time on the Sun: less than a second.
Our little blue planet is the only place we can live in where an average human can reach 80 years old. We adapted to many weather conditions that aren’t crazy with the gravity just about right so we don’t feel crushed. We can live anywhere from dry deserts to snowy ice peaks. It’s the only place that has the perfect balance for us to survive. Scientists hope that one day we can live on planets other than our own. Mars is the closest place that can host us, considering we’d have to build a dome in order to live there. Elon Musk wants to use Tesla bots as the first non-human crew to land there and start building our future homes.
The robots can acquire information about the planet and mimic the way humans walk and behave, so it’ll let us see what we’d need to worry about. In all cases, humans will need to be suited up in order to come close to any planet. Our bodies aren’t designed to face such conditions unless we evolve naturally to fit the environment. The tardigrade is the only animal on Earth that can live in the most extreme conditions, from the deepest oceans to the highest mountain peaks.
They shot some of these microscopic critters into space and found out that they can live in the vacuum of space for up to 10 days and return without breaking a sweat. They’re probably the only known creatures on Earth that can live the longest on any planet except the Sun. Scientists claim that if a large asteroid hits the Earth, then tardigrades can perfectly survive. But humans are simply not designed to live outside of Earth without the proper gear.